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Missense Mutation Under Selection During Goat Domestication Influences Tameness

A missense mutation in the RMM1 gene appears to be a key step toward domestication, as it affects tameness among goats and mice, according to an analysis appearing in Science Advances. Researchers from Northwest A&F University in Shannxi, China, previously found two loci under strong selection during the domestication of the goat, Capra hircus. One loci contained the MUC6 gene and the other harbored two protein-coding genes, STIM1 and RRM1. In their new study, the researchers confirmed that the STIM1-RRM1 locus was under high selection during goat domestication, which took place about 6,500 years ago. They also previously noted that hybrid goats with locus were less fearful of humans, and now zeroed in on a missense RRM1I241V mutations behind this effect. Genome editing in mice showed that those with RRM1I241V mutations were also less fearful, tamer, and had increased social ability. "These results demonstrated a method to uncover the cross specials major effect genes of complex traits," the researchers write I n their paper. "However, the function of other variants on this haplotype and the detailed cellular mechanisms involved in the behavior changes are still unknown, which are potential limitations that need to be addressed in future research."